Peace and Conflict Analysis for Better Programming and Impact
Insightful analysis is essential to any conflict transformation process, from prevention to mediation to reconciliation. A one-size-fits-all approach cannot be applied given, for some examples, root-causes and the interests of stakeholders differ in each conflict context. Effective conflict transformation approaches must be based on the comprehensive use and understanding of peace, conflict and development analysis. Therefore, understanding the tools of peace, conflict and development analysis are essential when designing, implementing, and assessing all peacebuilding projects and programs.
During the 11-year Syrian war to date, thousands of social action programs/projects, and even organizations have emerged to respond to communities’ needs, to prevent, transform and respond to violence across the country. Many approaches were designed without an analysis of the evolving conflict dynamics resulting in potentially impactful social actions diminishing for many reasons, including the exacerbation of conflict, the intervention of other parties, and the imbalance of powers. As in any conflict, peace is not a static condition defined by the absence of war but is instead a dynamic and nuanced structural process required to advance toward more positive peace. The sustainability of any peace intervention is based on how practitioners are able to analyze, understand and maintain transparent and subjective perspectives regarding evolving conflict and development dynamics. And, how practitioners integrate this nuanced approach into their methods to ensure that continuous analysis is conducted to support the innovative and creative orientation for future peace action.
During our week exploring analyses methods, we engaged with our instructor Dr. Bernardo Venturi (Director/Co-Founder, Agency for Peacebuilding (AP); Associate Fellow, International Affairs Institute (IAI), based in Rome) in dynamic discussions on conflict and development analysis and how they could be applied to our SCIs and overall peace and development interventions. Conflict analysis is the systematic study of the context, causes, actors, and dynamics of conflict from a variety of perspectives that helps development, humanitarian and peacebuilding organizations to gain a better understanding of the context within which they are working. Dr. Venturi noted the importance of distinguishing between conflict and development analysis and context analysis where context analysis refers to the broader situation in conflict-affected areas. Dr. Venturi also emphasized the necessity to consider conflict and development analysis as an integrated, ongoing and frequently up-dated process that gathers information from a full range of stakeholders to nurture practitioners, activists, and peacebuilders work. We had the opportunity to analyze our different conflict and development dynamics through different essential analysis tools refined to our SCIs. Moreover, we had the chance to familiarize ourselves with other tools and methods utilized by international agencies and organizations, such as the World Bank, USAID, Swiss Peace, etc. We reflected on the theoretical and practical skills related to the analysis of global conflict, peace and development dynamics while mainstreaming youth and gender inclusion in peace, security, conflict and development.
Lama Drebati – Syria
Rotary Peace Fellow – Class 32